What’s cooking today: Air fryer calamari with garlic-herb mayo
Calamari is always a challenge to cook. We’ve all had failures, but when it’s right, it’s oh, so right. Enter the air fryer...
Air fryer? That doesn’t sound like Jackman, surely? And you’d be right. But I have one on loan, for review, so I’m giving it a good shot. The device is an Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer and is a pressure cooker too among other things (it fries, it steams, it grills, it roasts, it keeps food warm, it sings you lullabyes when you’re going off to sleep). It even has a sous vide mode (I’ll be using that soon). I’ve named it R2D2.
Boy, did the calamari work. It was simply perfect.
The quantities here are only a loose guide. If you’re having them as a main meal or feeding more people, increase all the quantities accordingly.
(Serves 2 as a starter)
400 to 500 g calamari strips
250 ml buttermilk
½ cup flour
2 eggs, beaten with 2 Tbsp milk
1 cup fine breadcrumbs (Panko if you like but our local brands such as Bokomo are good too)
Garlic salt, pepper and Cayenne pepper to season both the flour and the breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp cooking oil
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp chopped coriander
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Rinse and dry the calamari and place in a bowl. Pour buttermilk in to cover, stir, and refrigerate for an hour.
When it’s nearly time to cook, remove the calamari from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Set out three bowls and a fourth container.
In the first, put the flour with a little seasoning stirred in.
In the second, beat the eggs with a little milk.
In the third, put the breadcrumbs and stir in a little seasoning. Also add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to the crumbs and stir in evenly with a fork.
Spray the base and lower sides of the air fryer basket with oil.
Remove calamari strips from the buttermilk one at a time, draining off the buttermilk, and first coat in flour, then dip in egg, then coat in crumbs. Put them in the fourth container.
When you have enough to fill the base of the air fryer basket, lay them out with space between them on the air fryer basket base, without overfilling.
Set the fryer to air fry for 4 minutes at 204℃. When that’s done, turn or move them around with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and repeat for another four minutes.
Place on kitchen paper over a bowl.
Mix the mayo with the chopped coriander, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and salt and black pepper to taste. Serve alongside a generous portion of calamari strips with lemon wedges. DM/TGIFood
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